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ICMR’s National Institute of Virology with Zydus launch diagnostic kit

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The kits have been developed to detect infections in the animal population, as they often are the hosts or reservoirs, spreading the infection to humans

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Zydus announced the launch of new diagnostic kits, developed by ICMR’s National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune to detect neglected infectious diseases in livestock. The kits have been developed to detect infections in the animal population, as they often are the hosts or reservoirs, spreading the infection to humans who come in close contact with them.

This public private partnership will open newer avenues for many more indigenously diagnostics for public health benefits. These technologies will enable detection of outbreaks of dangerous and life-threatening diseases and also give a boost to the government’s ‘Make in India’ efforts.

According to Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Secretary, Department of Health Research and DG-ICMR, “ICMR is taking a lead in commercialising the innovations as a result of ICMR’s intramural and extramural research, so that the benefits of the research reach the common man. While tackling neglected infectious diseases, timely diagnosis and treatment are critical. To reach the ultimate goal of elimination of these neglected diseases, it will also be important to improve access, focusing on the fundamentals of preventive interventions. It is important to maintain constant vigilance through appropriate diagnosis, robust surveillance, monitoring and reporting mechanisms. Partnerships with diverse stakeholders including the private sector, NGOs and community-based organisations are specifically useful in creating awareness, case detection, treatment completion and most importantly, managing stigma associated with several of these diseases.”

These kits will be manufactured and marketed by Zydus Diagnostics, a division of Cadila Healthcare based in Ahmedabad. The kits provide results within 2.5 to 3 hours and are both highly sensitive and specific. The kits will be available for use in public health laboratories and hospitals across India and other countries. These diagnostic tests will help public health services in effective detection and surveillance. Another product in the pipeline is a Multiplex real time PCR kit for the detection dengue and chikungunya, which is useful in detection during early stages of the infection.

“We are happy to partner with ICMR and help in being better equipped in this war against infectious disease outbreaks. This make in India initiative is dedicated to the well-being of our people, who are at high risk, particularly in distant, remote areas of the country. This collaboration makes us self-reliant in detecting and starting early treatment so that precious lives can be saved,” said Pankaj Patel, Chairman, Zydus Group.

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